Role of Word Limit in Written CBSE Examination

The intend of this article is to let us know the significance of writing within the prescribed word limit while attempting the CBSE Board Examination. Every single question in the board examination has a pre-specified word limit and every student needs to understand the importance of it. It holds an essential role in the strategical educational plan for the board exams. It becomes a facilitator towards procuring the desired score in the board examination.

Word limit plays an important role in every examination, especially in the CBSE Board Examination. There is a very common misconception in the mind of most of the students, that is, longer the answer- better the score!! But it is nothing but a myth which along with wasting the students precious time also may result in reducing the score. Long, lengthy, irrelevant answers deteriorate the quality of the response sheet and in turn leads to poor results. So to avoid the same the students must make an effective strategical plan to succeed in any exam, specially the CBSE Board Examination. Each and every word in the answer sheet should be drafted to communicate the exact acquired facts and knowledge for the particular answer.

As per the format of both CBSE class 10th as well as CBSE class 12th Board Examination, it includes questions based on both short and long answers. And both the formats have their prescribed word limit which all students should adhere to. Moving forward in this article, we shall discuss the points which will help the students to understand the importance of sticking to the word limit defined to each question and section and organise themselves accordingly. These following points are discussed with respect to both CBSE class 10th and class 12th Board Exams.

There are common questions which comes in the mind of almost all students while preparing for the CBSE Board examination. Is it really essential to follow the word limit as prescribed in the CBSE Board examination? Does it really make a difference in the score if the students write a few lines extra? Do these extra words and sentences leave a positive or a negative impression on the examiner’s mind? Does negative marking apply for crossing the specified word limit?


Let us find answers to all such questions!   

CBSE Board question paper is designed in different sections and organised as per the format in different word limits. Sections are differently framed as per the short and long questions. There are few sections in the exam which are defined to give one word or one-line answer also. Each and every question is assigned a specific word limit in CBSE Board exam according to the information they are supposed to deliver. The main motive of assigning the word limit is that the examiner is expecting a to the point and exact answer rather than reading to the endless irrelevant stories which students make in case they are not aware of the right answer. Writing within the word limit is mandatory. Going beyond the word limit up to few words is acceptable, as the examiner will not literally count the words but if the students cross the line it can result in penalty in the form of loss of score. The penalty might also occur due to lesser words than the prescribed word limit as it will reflect lack of knowledge of the subject. So, precisely, writing too much or too less, both can disturb the students score. It also leaves a bad impression on the examiner and the teacher. It is expected from the students to use the significant terms in the answers which are the part of the CBSE course books. As the score is subjective to the examiner, it is very important to follow the basic rules of word limits as quality answers with relevant information as per the prescribed subject can only fetch the students with the desired results.

Very important point is that students should take special care of the word limit as it facilitates to provide that extra score, but it is not something to be worried about. According to the official policy of CBSE Board the teachers evaluating the board answer sheets are directed not to deduct marks of the students for exceeding the word limit. But to be on the safer side students should also take care that even if they cross the word limit to show off their knowledge intend, it should not be identifiable. On the other hand, if the answer falls short of few words, it should not be visible in terms of the lack of knowledge. The lesser words if at all should still justify to answer the question with the reasonably sufficient facts and information. The teachers checking the board papers are instructed to draw attention to the logical, conceptual and knowledge based intend shared by the student in the answer sheet.  

Last but not the least! Another very significant point to be remembered is the “Time Factor”. Every CBSE Board examination is time bound and every student needs to finish the exam paper within the specified time limit, that is, three hours. So, it is very important to follow the word limit because if the student will exceed the word limit for one or more answers, it will consume more time than required and in turn leave lesser time for the remaining questions. This can disturb the strategical plan for the exam. Attempting the latter questions in a hurry due to lack of sufficient time can create stress and deteriorate the quality of the latter answers.

Finally, it may be concluded that, all students should justify their answer sheets according to the specified word limit for all sections and questions. It is a crucial aspect which should be followed by all means.  

Hopefully, the above discussed points will clear the importance of writing within the word limit while attempting the CBSE Board examination and facilitate the aspiring students to reach to their desired goal. Best Wishes!

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